Your social security rights in Belgium - Europa EU

 
Your social security rights

        in Belgium
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
Directorate C — Social Affairs
Unit C.2 — Modernisation of social protection systems

Contact: Valdis Zagorskis

E-mail: Valdis.ZAGORSKIS@ec.europa.eu

European Commission
B-1049 Brussels
EUROPEAN COMMISSION

       Your social security rights

                         in Belgium

2018     Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
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© European Union, 2018
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
Your social security rights in Belgium

          Sometime in your life you may be in need of the support provided by
            social security benefits. If you are living in your own country and
          satisfy the condition, you will be entitled to receive support, but you
          also have the right to receive benefits if you are a national of any EU
           country and move to another. The information below sets out when
           you are eligible for benefits, what you are entitled to and how to go
                                       about claiming.

Contents
FAMILY ........................................................................................................................ 6
   Family benefits ......................................................................................................... 7
   Maternity and paternity benefits .................................................................................. 9
HEALTH...................................................................................................................... 12
   Healthcare .............................................................................................................. 13
   Long-term care ....................................................................................................... 15
   Sickness cash benefits ............................................................................................. 17
INCAPACITY ............................................................................................................... 20
   Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases ................................ 21
   Invalidity benefits.................................................................................................... 23
OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS ........................................................................................... 26
   Survivors’ benefits ................................................................................................... 27
   Old-age pensions and benefits .................................................................................. 28
SOCIAL ASSISTANCE ................................................................................................... 31
   Integration income .................................................................................................. 32
   Other social assistance allowances............................................................................. 33
UNEMPLOYMENT ......................................................................................................... 37
   Unemployment ....................................................................................................... 38
MOVING ABROAD ........................................................................................................ 42
   Combining social insurance contributions from other countries ...................................... 43
MAIN RESIDENCE ........................................................................................................ 46
   Main residence ........................................................................................................ 47

                                                                                                                                    5
Your social security rights in Belgium

     Family

                                         6
Your social security rights in Belgium

Family benefits

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to receive family benefit in Belgium.
Currently, the family benefits sector in Belgium consists of two family benefit schemes:
•     the general family benefits scheme;
•     the guaranteed family benefits scheme, a means-tested benefit which applies to
      persons not covered by social security, mainly beneficiaries of social integration
      income from a Public Centre for Social Assistance (CPAS).

In what situation can I claim?
Almost every child who lives in Belgium is entitled to family benefits until his or her 18th
birthday.

What conditions do I need to meet?
You are entitled to family benefits if you are an employee, a public sector official or self-
employed, or if you are unemployed, disabled or a pensioner.
For the self-employed, the regime is harmonised with that for employees starting from 1
July 2014.
Family benefits are granted until 31 August in the calendar year during which the child
reaches the age of 18. After age 18 and up to age 25 the child must either be undertaking
a course of study or be in training. In addition, the child must reside in Belgium, in a
member country of the EEA or in a country with which Belgium has concluded a social
security agreement. Otherwise, legislation provides for general or individual ministerial
dispensations.
Furthermore, there has to be a family relationship (or equivalent, such as a placement, a
refugee child, etc.) between the recipient and the child beneficiary. If not, legislation
provides for general or individual dispensations.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
For employees, public sector officials and the self-employed, family allowances include:
•     family benefits;
•     the age-related supplementary allowance;
•     the birth grant - the adoption grant;
•     the annual supplement awarded in August at the start of the new school year.
For unemployed persons, disabled employees (after 6 months) and pensioners, these
allowances are means-tested against the income of the household in which the children
are brought up.
There is also provision for a supplement for a disabled child up to age 21 and an orphan’s
allowance.
Apart from the age supplement and the annual supplement, beneficiaries of family benefits
under the general scheme receive the supplement provided for a child of a person
unemployed for more than six months.
•     For this scheme, family benefits must be applied for from the family benefits fund to
      which the employer or the last employer (before the unemployment or illness) of the
      worker is affiliated, or in most cases from the FAMIFED;
•     For the self-employed scheme, the application must be sent to the body of free family
      benefits fund which belongs to the same office as that which includes the social
      insurance fund to which the worker is affiliated.
The amounts of family benefits are as follows:
    Basic benefits   Flanders   Wallonia and Brussels

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Your social security rights in Belgium

    1st child       € 92.09    € 93.93
    2nd child       € 170.39   € 173.80
    3rd child       € 254.40   € 259.49

Family benefit for an orphan child: € 353.76 (Flanders) and € 360.83 (Wallonia and
Brussels) per child
The age supplements for the first child at the ordinary rate not benefiting from a social
supplement and not affected by a condition
                                   Flanders   Wallonia and Brussels
    Children from 6 to 11 years    € 16.04    € 16.36
    Children from 12 to 17 years   € 24.43    € 24.92
    Children from 18 to 24 years   € 28.16    € 28.72

The age supplements for the other children
                                   Flanders   Wallonia and Brussels
    Children from 6 to 11 years    € 31.99    € 32.63
    Children from 12 to 17 years   € 48.88    € 49.86
    Children 18 from to 24 years   € 62.15    € 63.40

The supplements for children of people unemployed over the previous 6 months, of single
parents and pensioners:
                                            Flanders   Wallonia and Brussels
    First child                             € 46.88    € 47.81
    Second child                            € 29.06    € 29.64
    Third child and each additional child   € 5.10     € 5.20
    From the 3rd child of a single parent   € 23.43    € 23.90

The supplements for the children of workers with disabilities are identical to those shown
in the table above, except for the first child for which the supplement is € 100.86 (in
Flanders) and € 102.88 (in other regions).
•     For the guaranteed family benefits scheme, the application should be addressed to
      the Federal Agency for family benefits (FAMIFED) and the amounts are as follows.
Amount of guaranteed family benefits in Flanders:

                                        Under age      From 6 to 11      From 12 to 18
                                                                                         Over 18
                                        6              years             years
    1st child                           € 138.97       € 170.96          € 187.85        € 201.12
    2nd child                           € 199.45       € 231.44          € 248.33        € 261.60
    From the 3rd child                  € 259.50       € 291.49          € 308.38        € 321.65
    From the 3rd child in a single-
                                        € 277.83       € 309.82          € 326.71        € 339.98
    parent family

Amount of guaranteed family benefits in Wallonia and Brussels

                                        Under age      From 6 to 11      From 12 to 18
                                                                                         Over 18
                                        6              years             years
    1st child                           € 141.74       € 174.37          € 191.60        € 205.14
    2nd child                           € 203.44       € 236.07          € 253.30        € 266.84
    From the 3rd child                  € 264.69       € 297.32          € 314.55        € 328.09
    From the 3rd child in a single-
                                        € 283.39       € 316.02          € 333.25        € 346.79
    parent family

•     The birth grant under the 2 schemes amounts to:
•     In Flanders:
    First birth                                           € 1,247.58
    Second birth                                          € 938.66

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Your social security rights in Belgium

    Each of the children resulting from a multiple birth   € 1,247.58

•       In Wallonia and Brussels:
    First birth                                            € 1,272.58
    Second birth                                           € 957.42
    Each of the children resulting from a multiple birth   € 1,272.52

The adoption grant per adopted child amounts to: € 1,247.58 in Flanders and € 1,272.52
in Wallonia and Brussels.

    Jargon busters
    •    FAMIFED: Federal agency for family allowances. The social security body
         responsible for the organisation of the family benefit arrangements.

Forms you may need to fill in
All the forms for the Federal agency for family benefits for employees can be downloaded
from the site : http://famifed.be/home

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter:
•       FAMIFED publications;
•       The social security portal;
•       The information and services portal of the federal authorities.
Commission publication and websites:
•       Family benefits: your rights abroad as a European citizen.

Whom do I contact?
The FAMIFED web page to contact
your family benefits fund : http://www.famifed.be/home.
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks.

Maternity and paternity benefits

This chapter provides you with information about how to benefit from maternity and
paternity benefits in Belgium.
If you have worked and paid social insurance contributions in another European Union
country, your period of work and the contributions you have paid can be taken into account
as part of the benefit calculation.

In what situation can I claim?
In the event of pregnancy employees, unemployed persons or self-employed persons can
benefit from maternity leave. However the conditions to be met, the duration of the leave
and the amount of the benefits are different for each category.
Salaried workers who are fathers or co-parents are entitled to ten days paternity or birth
leave.

What conditions do I need to meet?
To be entitled to maternity leave you must meet the following administrative conditions:
•       you have completed a work placement of six months or you are exempt;
                                                                                              9
Your social security rights in Belgium

•   if you are an employee, you have worked 120 days during the 6 months previous to
    your maternity rest period;
•   you have paid a minimum amount of social security contributions;
•   there is no break period of more than thirty days between the date your maternity
    rest period starts and your last working day (or assimilated day).
With the exception of the waiting period, the administrative conditions are the same as
those applied to sickness benefits in the context of being unable to work.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Duration and period of maternity leave.
If you are an employee, in principle maternity leave lasts for 15 weeks and includes two
periods:
•   Prenatal leave is a maximum period of 6 weeks before the expected date of
    delivery:
    -   Five weeks are optional and can be taken after the birth;
    -   The week immediately preceding delivery is a compulsory week of maternity
        leave;
•   Postnatal leave is a period of 9 weeks which starts on the day of the birth (or the
    day after the birth when the worker had started work on the day of the birth).
    Postnatal leave is compulsory.
If you are self-employed maternity leave lasts for 12 weeks (13 in case of multiple births).
You are obliged to take at least 3 weeks uninterrupted: the week before the birth and the
first 2 weeks after the birth. The remaining nine weeks (ten weeks in case of multiple
births) are optional. During the optional period, the self-employed may undertake part-
time work. The maximum duration of the optional maternity leave is therefore 18 weeks
(20 weeks in the case of multiple births).
Amount of maternity benefit
The amount of maternity benefit depends on your status (employed, unemployed or self-
employed) and on your income.
If you are an employee, your maternity benefit is calculated as:
•   82% of your salary (no ceiling) for the first 30 days;
•   75% of salary (subject to ceiling) from the 31st day onwards;
•   Maximum: € 104.80 per day from 1 January 2018.
If you are unemployed, in principle the amount of benefit on 1 January 2018 is equal to:
•   a basic benefit equivalent to the amount of your unemployment benefit + an
    additional allowance of 19.5% of gross capped salary at € 111.09 for the first 30
    days;
•   a basic benefit equivalent to the amount of your unemployment benefit + an
    additional allowance of 15% of gross capped salary at € 104.80 starting from the 31st
    day.
If you are self-employed the amount of the benefit is a flat-rate weekly amount. The
amount is the amount which is applicable on the first day of maternity leave. As at 1
January 2018 the amount of maternity benefit per week is € 475.41 for leave at full-time
and € 237.71 for maternity leave at part-time.
Maternity benefits are paid by your mutual insurance fund. The application for benefits
should be addressed to your mutual insurance fund supported by a medical certificate
stating the presumed date of the delivery as well as the start date of the maternity leave.

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Your social security rights in Belgium

Paternity or birth leave
As a father or co-parent, you are entitled to ten days paternity leave on the birth of a child.
You must take this leave within the four months following the birth. You can take the leave
days all at once or spread them.
Your employer will pay you your full salary for the first three days.
For the next 7 days your mutual insurance fund will be responsible for payment. The
amount paid by the latter will be 82% of capped daily gross salary at € 114.59.
For more information about maternity and paternity or birth benefits, go to the social
security portal.
Benefits in kind can also be paid during and after pregnancy: injections, pre and post-
natal care, monitoring and assistance during labour and delivery in a hospital.

    Jargon busters
    •    National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (INAMI): a public
         body which administers the sickness, maternity and invalidity sector and distributes
         the financial resources between the different insurance organisations
         http://www.inami.fgov.be/fr/Pages/default.aspx.

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter;
•       https://www.socialsecurity.be/;
•       http://socialsecurity.belgium.be.
Commission publication and websites:
•       Social security benefits: your rights abroad as a European citizen.

Who do you need to contact?
Federal Public Service for Social Security
•       Address: Centre administratif botanique, Finance Tower, Boulevard du Jardin
        botanique 50, PO Box 100 - 1000 Brussels
•       Main telephone number: +32 25286011
•       www.socialsecurity.belgium.be
National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (INAMI)
•       Address: Avenue de Tervueren 211 - 1150 Brussels
•       Telephone: +32 27397111
•       Email: communication@inami.fgov.be
•       Website: http://www.inami.fgov.be/fr/
Auxiliary Fund for Sickness & Invalidity Insurance (CAAMI)
•       CAAMI web page to find your nearest regional office.
To contact the mutual insurance funds:
•       National Alliance of Christian Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Non-denominational Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Socialist Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Liberal Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Free Mutual Insurance Funds
•       The SNCB Holding health insurance fund
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks.

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Your social security rights in Belgium

     Health

                                         12
Your social security rights in Belgium

Healthcare

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to benefit from the health insurance
system in Belgium.
For persons travelling or living in the European Union outside Belgium, the European health
insurance card allows you to benefit from public health care at reduced cost or even free.
If you have worked and paid social insurance contributions in another European Union
country, your period of work and the contributions you have paid can be taken into account
as part of the benefit calculation.

In what situation can I claim?
The health insurance system covers practically the whole population: employees and
persons treated as such, self-employed workers and persons treated as such, other
categories (students, disabled persons, beneficiaries of integration income, etc.) as well as
dependants of the aforementioned persons.
To be recognised as a dependant, you must reside in the family of the beneficiary of the
insurance, with the exception of the separated spouse (de facto or living apart) and children
under age 25. You must not have an income (pension, annuity, etc.) greater than
€ 2,436.10 gross per quarter (amount in force in the 2nd quarter of 2017).

What conditions do I need to meet?
    To be able to obtain benefits:
•     you must be registered with a health insurance body, which in turn must itself be
      affiliated to a national union of authorised mutual insurance funds, or register with
      CAAMI;
•     your contributions may not be lower than a fixed minimum amount. If this is not the
      case, an additional contribution has to be paid to maintain the right to healthcare;
•     Your affiliation to the insurance body remains valid until the end of the second year
      following the last year during which you were insured, at the latest.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The benefits in relation to preventive and curative care are reimbursed according to the
scales laid down in agreements established between practitioners and the health insurance
system.
Medical and dental care
•     You are free to choose your doctor or your dentist;
•     you are free to consult a specialist;
•     In principle, the health insurance fund will reimburse 60-75% of the fees charged for
      healthcare services.
•     Co-payment of € 6 (€ 1.50 for those on the preferential scheme) for consultations
      with general practitioners; € 4 (€ 1) if you have a “dossier medical global”.
•     Co-payment of € 12 (€ 3 for those on the preferential scheme) for consultations with
      specialist physicians; physiotherapy is reimbursed only if prescribed by a doctor;
•     the dental care which will be reimbursed includes preventive and conservative
      treatment, extractions, dental prosthesis and orthodontic treatment (depending on
      the age limit: 9 years for a first-line treatment and end of the intervention at the
      latest at the age of 22);
•     you pay the fees directly to the doctor or dentist and you are then reimbursed by
      your insurance fund.
More information about reimbursement               of   medical       costs   is   available   on
https://socialsecurity.belgium.be/en.
Pharmaceutical products

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Your social security rights in Belgium

•       You are free to choose the pharmacy where you get the medication prescribed by the
        doctor or dentist;
•       you pay the amount of the cost directly to the pharmacist, who will give you a receipt
        for the medication provided;
•       the amount reimbursed by the health insurance varies depending on the social and
        therapeutic usefulness of the prescribed medication;
•       if you have a prescription, you will only have to pay the pharmacist the portion of the
        price not covered by your health insurance fund.
Hospitalisation
•       The cost of care is shared between you and your health insurance fund. The hospital
        will invoice your health insurance fund directly for the costs covered by your
        insurance;
•       on admission to hospital, you make a flat-rate prepayment. The amount varies
        depending on your status (those benefiting from the preferential scheme, the
        unemployed, dependent children);
•       the cost of the daily care is a flat-rate amount which covers the costs of your stay and
        your care in hospital. A large proportion of this amount is paid by your health
        insurance fund. The amount which you have to pay yourself varies according to your
        status;
•       you will also be charged a flat-rate daily amount for the reimbursed medications used
        during your hospital stay.
More information about hospitalisation at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

    Jargon busters
    •    Prescription document by which an authorised health professional sets out the
         treatment recommendations for a patient.
    •    CAAMI: Auxiliary Fund for Sickness & Invalidity Insurance. Public institution which
         carries out the same tasks as the mutual insurance funds. Unlike the latter, the
         auxiliary fund is required to register any beneficiary who applies without them
         needing a subscription to additional insurance. http://www.caami-
         hziv.fgov.be/Model4-10-F.htm.
    •    Preferential scheme: in certain circumstances certain categories of patient
         benefit from an improved level of reimbursement for their medical costs. This is
         referred to as the preferential scheme. The personal share that these patients pay
         for their medical care is therefore lower. More information about the status of
         beneficiary of the preferential scheme can be found at
         https://www.socialsecurity.be.
    •    Personal share or co-payment the amount which you have to pay yourself, after
         deducting the insurance element.
    •    INAMI: National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance. A public body
         which administers the sickness, maternity and invalidity sector and distributes the
         financial resources between the different insurance organisations (mutual insurance
         funds). http://www.inami.fgov.be/FR/Pages/default.aspx.

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter;
•       https://www.socialsecurity.be;
•       www.socialsecurity.belgium.be.
More information about the European health insurance card can be found on the
information and services portal of the federal authorities and on the dedicated page of the
European Commission.

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Your social security rights in Belgium

Who do you need to contact?
National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (INAMI)
•   Address: Avenue de Tervueren 211 - 1150 Brussels
•   Telephone: +32 27397111
•   EmailEmail: communication@inami.fgov.be
•   Website: http://www.inami.fgov.be/fr/Pages/default.aspx
Auxiliary Fund for Sickness & Invalidity Insurance (CAAMI)
•   CAAMI web page to find your nearest regional office.
To contact the mutual insurance funds:
•   National Alliance of Christian Mutual Insurance Funds
•   National Union of Non-denominational Mutual Insurance Funds
•   National Union of Socialist Mutual Insurance Funds
•   National Union of Liberal Mutual Insurance Funds
•   National Union of Free Mutual Insurance Funds
•   Auxiliary Fund for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance
•   The SNCB Holding health insurance fund
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

Long-term care

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to benefit from long-term care
benefits in Belgium.

In what situation can I claim?
While there is no specific legislation at federal (national) level in Belgium, the legislation
does however provide for certain benefits aimed at dependent, disabled or elderly persons,
who require specific equipment or long-term care. In particular this relates to:
•   the integration allowance (AI);
•   the allowance for assistance to the elderly (APA);
•   Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse Sociale Bescherming).

What conditions do I need to meet?
Integration allowance
To provide assistance with the additional costs which you will meet as a disabled person in
arranging your day-to-day living space (motorised wheelchair, special equipment for the
bathroom or the kitchen, etc.), an integration allowance may be awarded to you if:
•   your disability is certified by an approved medical doctor;
•   your income and that of your partner do not exceed certain limits;
•   you are at least 21 years of age and under 65;
•   you are included in the population register;
•   you are domiciled in Belgium and actually reside there.
Allowance for assistance to the elderly
If you are aged 65 or over and you have difficulty in carrying out your day-to-day activities,
you may be entitled to an allowance for assistance to the elderly (APA). This allowance is
identical to the integration allowance, but is aimed at persons aged 65 or over. The earliest
you can claim this allowance is the day of your 65th birthday. The criteria for obtaining the
allowance are the same as for the integration allowance (AI).
More information about AI and APA is available at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

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Your social security rights in Belgium

More information about the APA in the Flemish community can be found at the
site of the Vlaamse Sociale Bescherming (Flemish Social Protection).
Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse sociale bescherming) in the Flemish region.
Flemish Social Protection is a set of interventions and funding systems for long-term care
within the Flemish Community.
A contribution of € 26 or € 51 is requested from each insured person, which finances the
basic assistance budget, the Flemish Social Protection and the allowance for the elderly.
To be eligible, the insured person must have resided five years in the Flemish region or in
the Brussels-Capital region. However, residents of Brussels are not obligated to join. The
beneficiary must also, depending on the intervention, either have a recognised disability
or be at least 65 years of age with a disability or a reduction in self-sufficiency (7 points or
more on the autonomy scale). Medical examinations for the elderly care allowance are still
conducted at the federal level.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Integration allowance
To provide assistance with the additional costs which you will meet as a disabled person in
arranging your day-to-day living space (motorised wheelchair, special equipment for the
bathroom or the kitchen, etc.), an integration allowance may be awarded to you if:
•   your disability is certified by an approved medical doctor;
•   your income and that of your partner do not exceed certain limits;
•   you are at least 21 years of age and under 65;
•   you are included in the population register;
•   you are domiciled in Belgium and actually reside there.
Allowance for assistance to the elderly
If you are aged 65 or over and you have difficulty in carrying out your day-to-day activities,
you may be entitled to an allowance for assistance to the elderly (APA). This allowance is
identical to the integration allowance, but is aimed at persons aged 65 or over. The earliest
you can claim this allowance is the day of your 65th birthday. The criteria for obtaining the
allowance are the same as for the integration allowance (AI).
More information about AI and APA is available at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.
More information about the APA in the Flemish community can be found at the
site of the Vlaamse Sociale Bescherming (Flemish Social Protection).
Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse sociale bescherming) in the Flemish region.
Flemish Social Protection is a set of interventions and funding systems for long-term care
within the Flemish Community.
A contribution of € 26 or € 51 is requested from each insured person, which finances the
basic assistance budget, the Flemish Social Protection and the allowance for the elderly.
To be eligible, the insured person must have resided five years in the Flemish region or in
the Brussels-Capital region. However, residents of Brussels are not obligated to join. The
beneficiary must also, depending on the intervention, either have a recognised disability
or be at least 65 years of age with a disability or a reduction in self-sufficiency (7 points or
more on the autonomy scale). Medical examinations for the elderly care allowance are still
conducted at the federal level.

                                                                                                   16
Your social security rights in Belgium

    Jargon busters
    •    FPS Social Security: federal public service responsible for social security.
    •    Income replacement allowance (ARR): it can be awarded to a disabled person
         if their disability limits their capacity to work and therefore their ability to acquire
         an income through work.
    •    AI: integration allowance.
    •    APA: allowance for assistance to the elderly.

Forms you may need to fill in
The procedure regulating the              submission     of   an   application   is   available     at
https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter.
FPS Social Security publications on AI and APA:
•       http://handicap.belgium.be/fr/.
For more information about Flemish Social Protection , visit the following websites:
•       http://www.vlaamsesocialebescherming.be/fr/ (fr) ;
•       http://www.vlaamsesocialebescherming.be/ (nl);
•       http://www.vlaamsesocialebescherming.be/nl/zorgkassen (nl).
Commission publication and websites:
•       Social security benefits: your rights abroad as a European citizen.

Who do you need to contact?
•        Alphabetical list by municipality and Belgian CPAS addresses.
•       FPS Social Integration:
        -   Building WTC II - Tower 2 - Boulevard Roi Albert II 30, PO Box 40 - 1000
            Brussels
        -   Telephone: +32 25088586
        -   Email: question@mi-is.be
        -   Website: http://www.mi-is.be/fr
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

Sickness cash benefits

This chapter provides you with information to enable you to claim daily sickness benefit in
Belgium.
If you have worked and paid social insurance contributions in another European Union
country, your period of work and the contributions you have paid can be taken into account
as part of the calculation your benefit.

In what situation can I claim?
If you are an employee or a self-employed worker and you are no longer able to work as
a result of an illness or an accident, you are entitled to income replacement (unless it
results from occupational disease or a work-related accident). However, a specific scheme
will apply, depending on your status.

                                                                                                         17
Your social security rights in Belgium

What conditions do I need to meet?
If you are an employee, you must meet the following conditions:
•   be registered with an insurance entity (mutual insurance fund) as holder;
•   demonstrate a minimum volume of work or payment of a minimum level of
    contributions for a period of at least 12 months;
•   not have had a period of interruption of more than 30 days between the start of the
    incapacity and the last working day;
•   have worked for a total of at least 180 days;
•   have stopped all work activity;
•   Being acknowledged as unable to work by the doctor of the mutual insurance fund.
If you are self-employed, you must meet the following conditions:
•   you must demonstrate payment of contributions for a minimum of 6 months;
•   you must be able to demonstrate that you have paid sufficient contributions in a
    reference period preceding your incapacity for work;
•   there must not have been a period of interruption of more than 30 days between the
    date of your incapacity for work and the last quarter of social security contributions.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
If you are an employee you must provide the medical adviser of your health insurance
fund with a medical certificate completed by the doctor who is treating you.
During an initial period the benefits are paid by the employer:
•   white-collar workers receive 100% of their earnings for a month;
•   manual workers receive
    -    100% of their earnings for the first seven days of incapacity;
    -    85.88% from the 8th to the 14th day of incapacity, or via a supplementary
         allowance;
    -    From the 15th to 30th day: 25.88% of compensation not exceeding the ceiling
         set by the disability health insurance and 85.88% of the amount exceeding the
         ceiling.
The sickness insurance starts when the guaranteed salary period paid by the employer is
over.
The compensation rate is 60% of earnings. The ceiling taken into account for the
compensation is € 139.7388 per day (for incapacities from 1 January 2018).
If you are still unable to work after a year, you will be entitled to invalidity benefit.
More information on the INAMI website.
If you are self-employed, you must meet the following conditions:
•   You must have completed a waiting period of 6 months or be exempt;
•   You must be able to demonstrate that you have paid sufficient contributions for the
    compensation sector in a reference period preceding your incapacity for work;
•   There must not have been a period of interruption of more than 30 days between the
    date of your incapacity for work and the last quarter of social security contributions
    (or equivalent period) or an exemption from social security contributions.

                                                                                              18
Your social security rights in Belgium

    Jargon busters
    •    Invalidity benefit: benefit which you can claim if you have received sickness
         benefits for 1 year and you are still certified as being unable to work.
    •    INAMI: National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance. A public body
         which administers the sickness, maternity and invalidity sector and distributes the
         financial resources between the different insurance organisations (mutual insurance
         funds) INAMI website.

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter:
•       https://www.socialsecurity.be/;
•       The amounts of benefits for employees on the INAMI website.
Commission publication and websites:
•       Social security benefits: your rights abroad as a European citizen.

Who do you need to contact?
Federal Public Service for Social Security
•       Address: Centre administratif botanique, Finance Tower, Boulevard du Jardin
        botanique 50, PO Box 100 - 1000 Brussels
•       Main telephone number: +32 25286011
•       Email : social.security@minsoc.fed.be http://socialsecurity.belgium.be/fr
National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (INAMI)
•       Address: Avenue de Tervueren 211 - 1150 Brussels
•       Telephone: +32 27397111
•       Email: communication@inami.fgov.be
•       Website: http://www.inami.fgov.be/homefr.htm
To contact the mutual insurance funds:
•       National Alliance of Christian Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Non-denominational Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Socialist Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Liberal Mutual Insurance Funds
•       National Union of Free Mutual Insurance Funds
•       Auxiliary Fund for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance
•       The SNCB Holding health insurance fund
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

                                                                                               19
Your social security rights in Belgium

Incapacity

                                         20
Your social security rights in Belgium

Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational
diseases

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to claim benefits in respect of
accidents at work and occupational diseases in Belgium.

In what situation can I claim?
•   An accident at work is defined as “any accident that happens to a worker during the
    course and by the fact of the performance of his contract of employment and which
    causes an injury”.
•   If the occupational disease is on the official list and the victim is employed in a sector
    where he or she is exposed to that risk, the causal link between the exposure and the
    disease is presumed. An open system coexists alongside the list.

What conditions do I need to meet?
Occupational diseases
If you are employed in the private sector, bound by a contract of employment, you are
insured. The following are also insured:
•   apprentices and trainees, even if these receive no remuneration;
•   persons who, because of a physical work incapacity or unemployment, are
    undertaking a vocational rehabilitation or training course;
•   pupils and students who are exposed to a risk of occupational disease during their
    studies.
If you are employed in the public sector, you are insured against the risk of occupational
disease. However, the administrative route to be followed by a particular case is not the
same depending on the relevant authority or body.
If you are a self-employed worker you are not yet covered by mandatory insurance in
relation to occupational diseases. Nonetheless you can still apply to the sickness and
invalidity insurance scheme for self-employed workers.
Accidents at work
Any worker who is incapacitated as a result of an accident at work is entitled to
compensation. An accident at work is defined as:
•   A sudden event (which distinguishes an accident at work from an occupational
    disease) which causes an injury and which happens during the course and by the fact
    of the performance of the contract of employment;
•   Accidents at work on the way to and from work.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Occupational diseases
Victims of an occupational disease or persons entitled on their behalf are entitled to
compensation paid by the Federal Agency For Occupational Risks (l’Agence fédérale pour
les risques professionnels - Fedris).. You may be entitled to one of the following
compensations:
•   for permanent loss of working capacity;
•   for temporary loss of working capacity;
•   for reimbursement of medical costs related to the treatment of an occupational
    disease;
•   for the assistance of another person;
•   after a death caused by an occupational disease, the compensation is then paid to the
    persons entitled on their behalf.

                                                                                                 21
Your social security rights in Belgium

Please note. The information which appears on this page only applies to paid
employees in the private sector. Salaried workers in the public sector should
contact their public sector personnel department.
You can never receive compensation which is higher than the maximum amount of your
basic salary. This is also the case if you receive several compensation payments from Fedris
because, for example, you have contracted different occupational diseases, and for any
compensations paid following an accident at work.
More information can be found at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.
Accidents at work
•       Any worker who is incapacitated as a result of an accident at work is entitled to
        compensation;
•       the costs of medical care provided to the victims of an accident at work are
        reimbursed;
•       in the event of a death resulting from an accident at work, the close relatives may be
        entitled to an annuity.
In the event of an accident at work, you are entitled to compensation for:
•       temporary total or partial loss of working capacity (you receive daily allowances);
•       permanent loss of working capacity (you receive an allowance during the review
        period and an annuity after that period).
The compensations, allowances and annuities are calculated from the starting point of the
basic remuneration.
More information can be found at https://www.socialsecurity.be.

    Jargon busters
    •    FEDRIS : The Federal Agency for Occupational Risks (l’agence fédérale pour les
         risques professionnels) is a Belgian public social security institution resulting from
         the merger of the Occupational Diseases Fund and the Accidents at Work Fund
         which ensures that the rights of victims of occupational accidents and diseases are
         respected.
    •    Occupational disease: occupational diseases are caused directly and definitively
         by the exercise of an occupation. There is an official list of these diseases, but it is
         also possible for a disease which is not on the list to be certified as an occupational
         disease.
    •    Basic remuneration: the salary which you earned during the year preceding the
         accident in the job role occupied at the time of the accident.

Forms you may need to fill in
•       The forms relating to occupational diseases can be downloaded from the Fedris
        website, see below.
•       Accident at work declaration form: http://www.fedris.be/fr

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter;
•       www.socialsecurity.belgium.be.
•       The Fedris website : http://www.fedris.be/
•       https://www.socialsecurity.be/
Commission publication and websites:
•       Unemployment and social security benefits: your rights abroad as a European citizen

                                                                                                    22
Your social security rights in Belgium

Who do you need to contact?
Fedris:
•   Address: Avenue de l'Astronomie 1 - 1210 Brussels
•   Telephone: +32 22266400
•   Email: secr@fedris.be
•   Website: http://www.fedris.be
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

Invalidity benefits

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to claim invalidity benefits in
Belgium.

In what situation can I claim?
When you have been certified as having been incapacitated from work for more than a
year you switch to invalidity. The period of invalidity therefore begins from the second year
of your inability to work.

What conditions do I need to meet?
If you are employed you must:
•   be registered with a mutual health insurance fund, as holder;
•   have worked for 180 days within a period of one year. Certain periods of inactivity,
    for example paid leave, sickness absence, etc., are counted as working periods;
•   be certified as having been unable to work for a year;
•   demonstrate that the minimum contributions have been paid.
If you are a self-employed worker:
•   You must have completed a work placement of 6 months or be exempt;
•   You must be able to demonstrate that you have paid sufficient contributions for the
    compensation sector in a reference period preceding your incapacity for work;
•   There must not have been a period of interruption of more than 30 days between the
    date of your incapacity for work and the last quarter of social security contributions
    (or equivalent period) or an exemption from social security contributions.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
It is the Invalidity Medical Council (Conseil médical de l'invalidité - CMI) of the INAMI which
decides whether to certify the invalidity and on any possible extensions on the basis of a
medical report drawn up by the medical officer of the employee's mutual insurance fund.
The invalidity benefit payments can continue until retirement age, provided that the
beneficiary continues to fulfil the medical conditions.
Amount
The amount of the benefit depends on your family circumstances and on the date the
incapacity started:
•   It amounts to 65% of the lost earnings (capped), if the incapacitated person has at
    least one dependant (maximum € 90.83 per day for incapacities occurring from 1
    January 2018);
•   If you have no dependants, this amount is set at 55% (maximum € 76.86 from 1
    January 2018);
•   If there is a cohabitant the rate is 40% of the lost earnings (capped), maximum
    € 55.90 per day for invalidities occurring from 1 January 2018.

                                                                                                  23
Your social security rights in Belgium

The daily compensation cannot be lower than the following amounts (as at 1 January
2018):
•    for a regular worker: € 58.68 (with dependants), € 46.96 (single, without
     dependants) or € 39.98 (cohabitation without dependants);
•    with regard to a non-regular worker: € 45.78 with dependant(s) and € 34.33 for
     others.
If the dependant receives a monthly income below € 970.67, the holder is regarded as
having a dependant.
If the dependent receives a monthly professional income between € 970.67 and
€ 1,562.59, the holder is considered single.
It is the same if the dependent has a monthly replacement income (possibly combined with
a professional income) between € 970.67 and € 1,068.28.
More information about the amounts of invalidity benefit for employees can be found on
the INAMI website.
If you are a self-employed worker, the amount of your sickness benefit is a flat-rate amount
which depends on your family circumstances. During the period of invalidity it also depends
on the cessation or otherwise of her business.
The amount of the benefit is linked to the index. Sickness benefits are paid by your mutual
insurance fund.

    Jargon busters

    INAMI: National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance. A
    public body which administers the sickness, maternity and invalidity
    sector and distributes the financial resources between the different
    insurance organisations (mutual insurance funds).
    http://www.inami.fgov.be/fr/Pages/default.aspx

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter:
•    The website of the Federal Public Service for Social
     Security :https://www.socialsecurity.be;
•    The INAMI website.
Commission publication and websites:
•    Unemployment and social security benefits: your rights abroad as a European citizen.

Who do you need to contact?
National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (INAMI)
•    Address: Avenue de Tervueren 211 - 1150 Brussels
•    Telephone: +32 27397111
•    Email: communication@inami.fgov.be
•    Website: http://www.inami.fgov.be/FR/Pages/default.aspx
To contact the mutual insurance funds:
•    National Alliance of Christian Mutual Insurance Funds
•    National Union of Non-denominational Mutual Insurance Funds
•    National Union of Socialist Mutual Insurance Funds
•    National Union of Liberal Mutual Insurance Funds
•    National Union of Free Mutual Insurance Funds
•    Auxiliary Fund for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance
                                                                                               24
Your social security rights in Belgium

•   The SNCB Holding health insurance fund
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

                                                                                    25
Your social security rights in Belgium

Old-age and survivors

                                               26
Your social security rights in Belgium

Survivors’ benefits

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to claim survivors’ benefits in
Belgium.
If you have worked and paid social insurance contributions in another European Union
country, your period of work and the contributions you have paid can be taken into account
as part of the benefit calculation.

In what situation can I claim?
In the event of death, the survivor's pension enables the surviving spouse to obtain a
pension calculated on the employment or self-employment career of his/her deceased
spouse. Originally, the survivor's pension was reserved for widows but since 1984 it has
also applied to widowers.

What conditions do I need to meet?
In order to benefit from a survivor's pension you must, as of 1 January 2018:
•   have reached the age of 46 years and 6 months;
•   have been married to the worker for at least a year at the time of the death. This
    condition is also met if the marriage was directly preceded by a period of legal
    cohabitation and the total of these periods (cohabitation + marriage) is at least 1
    year;
•   comply with the general terms and conditions of payment of pensions.
There are however exemptions from these conditions:
Exemptions from the marriage condition:
•   a child was born from your marriage or your child was born within three hundred
    days of the death of your spouse;
•   at the time of death, a child was a dependant for whom you or your spouse were
    receiving family benefits;
•   the death was due to an accident subsequent to the date of the marriage;
•   the death was due to an occupational disease contracted in the exercise or on the
    occasion of the exercise of the profession: the origin or the exacerbation of this
    disease, however, must be later than the date of your marriage;
•   the death was due to an occupational disease contracted in the course of an
    assignment from the Belgian government or in the context of Belgian technical
    assistance: the origin or the exacerbation of this disease, however, must be later
    than the date of your marriage.
A surviving spouse who fulfils the marriage or exception conditions, but not the age
conditions, is entitled to a transitional allowance for 12 months (without dependent
children) or 24 months (with dependent children).
There is no ceiling to the combination of the transitional allowance with social benefits
and professional income.
More information on the SFP website: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Generally, it is necessary to apply for a survivor's pension. However there are instances
where the assessment is carried out automatically, without prior request.
You can apply for your           survivor's   pension    online     on   the   SFP   website:
http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.
Amount
The amount of the survivor's pension or the transitional allowance will vary depending on
whether your spouse was a pensioner or not.

                                                                                                27
Your social security rights in Belgium

•       Your spouse was receiving a pension (calculated at the household rate or at the single
        rate). The amount of the survivor's pension amounts to 80% of the pension
        calculated at the household rate of the deceased spouse (which corresponds to a
        pension at the single rate);
•       Your spouse was not yet in receipt of a pension. The survivor's pension is then 80%
        of the projected retirement pension which would have been awarded to the spouse.
        However, certain special rules are aimed at reducing the inequalities.
For more information, please refer to the websites of the relevant institutions:
•       self-employed workers: www.inasti.be;
•       salaried workers and civil servants: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.

    Jargon busters
    •    SFP: Federal Pensions Service. Public social security institution responsible for
         administering old-age and survivor's pensions for salaried workers and of civil
         servants: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.
    •    INASTI: National Insurance Institute for the Self-employed (Institut national
         d'assurances sociales pour travailleurs indépendants). A public social security
         institution, INASTI administers pensions for self-employed workers.
         http://www.nisse.be/en?_ga=2.158811133.65664522.1497365541-
         1987368120.1497365541

Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent
upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter;
•       SFP website: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.
Commission publication and websites:
•       Benefits in the event of bereavement: your rights abroad as a European citizen.

Who do you need to contact?
If you are employed or civil servant: Federal Pension Service (SFP)
•       Free phone number from Belgium: 1765
•       Chargeable number from abroad: +32 78151765
•       Address: Tour du Midi - 1060 Brussels
•       Website: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr
If you are self-employed: the National Insurance Institute for the Self-employed
(INASTI)
•       Telephone: +32 25464211
•       Address: Quai de Willebroeck 35 - 1000 Brussels
•       Email: info@rsvz-inasti.fgov.be
•       Website: http://www.inasti.be/fr
In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

Old-age pensions and benefits

This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to claim a pension and other old-
age benefits in Belgium.
If you have worked and paid old-age insurance contributions in another European Union
country, your period of work and the contributions you have paid can be taken into account
in the calculation of the amount of your pension.

                                                                                                 28
Your social security rights in Belgium

In what situation can I claim?
Every person who has worked either as a paid employee, a self-employed person or a
public sector employee in Belgium has a right to a retirement pension at the end of their
career.

What conditions do I need to meet?
In Belgium the legal pension age is set at:
•   65 years for those retiring on or before 31 January 2025;
•   66 years for those retiring between 1 February 2025 and 31 January 2030 inclusive;
•   67 years for those retiring on or after 1 February 2030
However, all individuals can receive an early retirement pension, if certain age and career
conditions are met. From 1 January 2018 onwards, recipients have to be at least 63 years
of age and have 41 years of service.
There are exceptions for long careers; pension can be taken at 60 for those with 43 years
of service, and 61 for those with 42 years of service.
Depending on the profession, there are 3 pension regimes in force:
•   For salaried workers, the amount of the pension is calculated based on three
    parameters: the length of the professional career, the remuneration received during
    the career and the family circumstances. More information is available on the website
    of the Federal Pensions Service (SFP) : http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr or at
    https://www.socialsecurity.be/;
•   For self-employed workers the parameters which come into play are identical to those
    used in the regime for salaried workers (career, remuneration and family
    circumstances). However certain aspects are different. More information is available
    on the website of the National Insurance Institute for the Self-employed (INASTI) and
    at https://www.socialsecurity.be/;
•   For public sector workers the pension regime is different from that for salaried
    workers. The earnings obtained throughout the career are not taken into
    consideration, but a reference salary is used which corresponds to the average of the
    last 10 years' salary for the public servant who was not aged 50 as at 1 January
    2012. More information is available on the website of the Federal Pensions Service
    (FPS) : http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr and at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.
It is possible for you to resume or pursue professional activities as a pensioner. However
there are certain requirements which you have to meet. For more detailed information
please refer to the Federal Pensions Service website (SFP): http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The pension for employees is calculated in relation to the length of insurance, earnings on
which contributions have been paid (within the ceiling limit) and the family circumstances
of the pensioner. It is based on the following formulae (S = the reference salary)
•   For a single person or a married person without a dependent spouse: S x 60% x
    length of period of insurance / 45;
•   For a married person with a dependent spouse: S x 75% x length of period of
    insurance / 45.
Other benefits, linked to pensions, may be provided for the elderly:
•   the heating allowance granted to retired miners (31.74 € per year): it is awarded for
    each year of work completed in the mines with a maximum of 30 years (maximum €
    952.20);
•   a holiday allowance and supplementary holiday allowance: the holiday allowance is
    granted annually to recipients of an old-age pension for the month of May in the
    current year. The allowance is a flat-rate amount and depends on the type of
    pension.

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